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FOOTBALL

Norway in Euro 2016 play-offs after Italy loss

Norway's national football have failed to secure an automatic qualifying spot in next year's Euro 2016 after the unbeaten Italian side vanquished them 2-1 at Rome's Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday evening.

Norway in Euro 2016 play-offs after Italy loss
Alexander Tettey (left) celebrates with Omar Elabdellaoui and Haitam Aleesami after Norway's first goal. Photo: Vegard Wivestad Grøtt/NTB scanpix

Norway came looking for the shock win that would secure qualification but the visitors were ball-chasing from the outset.

But despite Pelle and Roberto Soriano both coming close early on, Norway broke the deadlock, scoring a goal 23 minutes into the match, when Alexander Banor Tettey volleyed low past Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon after a free kick from the left had been headed out into his path.

Italy did not equalize until well into the second half, with a goal from Alessandro Florenzi, only securing the match in the final minutes with a goal from Graziano Pellè. 

“We've finished top of the group after giving it everything against Norway,” Italian coach Antonio Conte told Rai television after the result.  “I'm sorry for Norway, but that's football. I'm happy because we were unlucky to go a goal behind and we came back and did our job.” 

Haitam Aleesami, the Norway player whose bodged pass opened the way to Italy's equaliser apologised for bringing Norway's promising start to an end.  

“I had eye contact with [Ørjan] Nyland and tried to chest it to him. But it wasn't well done and I was punished for it,” Alesaami told Norwegian journalists after the match. “We just fell apart after that goal, because then we had to chase another goal. I want to apologise to my teammates and to the whole of Norway.” 
 
Norway's loss was compounded by Croatia's 1-0 win against Malta on Tuesday night, which won them the second automatic qualifying spot at Norway's expense. 
 
Norway will now face Ukraine, Sweden, Bosnia or Hungary in the play-offs. 
 
 

 

 

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FOOTBALL

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup

Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland want to jointly host the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2027.

Nordic countries to launch joint bid to host 2027 World Cup
Sweden players during this year's World Cup in France. Photo: Jean-Paul Pelissier/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The five Nordic nations want to share hosting duties for the 2027 edition of the World Cup finals and are to present the idea to the Nordic Council at a meeting in Stockholm on Tuesday, Danish football association DBU has confirmed.

FIFA is already positively disposed to joint bids for future finals tournaments, which has lent encouragement to the Nordic project, according to DBU's chairman Jesper Møller.

“We can see that support for women's football is here to stay, most recently at the (2019) World Cup in France, where matches were played in front of full stadiums and television viewers' interest was huge,” Møller said.

“A joint Nordic World Cup would not only ensure a fantastic experience for many football fans but will also strengthen important Nordic partnerships and community, and hopefully inspire many football-keen women and girls,” he continued.

“That's why support from the Nordic Council is important,” he added.

The Nordic Council (Nordisk Råd) is the official body for inter-parliamentary co-operation among the five Nordic countries and three territories of the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and the Åland Islands.

DBU is also looking into the possibility of hosting the 2025 European Championships in Denmark.

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